By Carole on Jan 8, 2012
In this morning's GOP presidential debate, NBC moderator David Gregory asked Texas Governor Rick Perry a question about electability. Governor Perry took it a step further and laid out the three big questions primary voters should be asking themselves: "Who is it that can beat Obama? Who is it that can invigorate the tea party? Who is it that can take the message of smaller outsider government that's truly going to change that place?"
While the mainstream media and party establishment have been obsessed with that first question for months, the other two have been virtually ignored in their zeal to push Republicans to settle once again for a non-conservative nominee. With the actual voting underway, it's more than time to ask (and answer) those other two questions.
When it comes to invigorating the grassroots activists who were instrumental in the shellacking President Obama and his Congressional cronies took in the 2010 midterm elections, Governor Perry demonstrated once again that he is the candidate that can inspire the tea party.
Asked what potentially painful spending cuts he would advocate, he cut right to the heart of the difference between those who believe big government is the solution and those who know big government is the problem. "You know the fact of the matter is that Americans want to have a job, that's the issue here," he said. "And the idea that there are people clamoring for government to come and give them assistance is just wrong headed. And that's what we need to be focusing on as a people is how do we create the environment in this country where the entrepreneurs know that they can risk their capital, have a chance to have a return on the investment and create the jobs out there so people can have the dignity to take care of their families. That's what Americans are looking for. I've done that for the last eleven years in the state of Texas and have the executive governing experience that no one else up here on the stage has."
And he does not have the experience of voting and/or lobbying for big government programs like some other GOP candidates who claim to champion the tea party cause.
Governor Perry also gave examples of how his proposed federal spending cuts would lead to the kind of smaller government that would truly change Washington while offering the most personable moment in the debate. "Well let me answer the question that you asked earlier," he said, “What are the three areas that you would make some reductions that people would feel some pain? And I would tell you..."
Here he paused for the briefest of moments as anxious noises come from an audience obviously remembering the '3 departments' brain freeze early in his campaign...
"It would be those bureaucrats at the Department of Commerce, Energy and Education that we're gonna do away with," he said to cheers and applause.
But back to that ever-present question of electability, when Governor Perry was asked about positive comments concerning President Barack Obama made by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), he was able to clearly articulate the major difference between his own vision for the country and that of the man he plans to run against for the presidency. "I truly believe that we need a president that respects the tenth amendment," he said, "That pushes back to the states whether it's how to deliver education, how to deliver health care, how to do our environmental regulations. The states will considerably do a better job than a one-size-fits-all Washington DC led by this president."
That is just the argument that can beat President Obama, invigorate the tea party and promote the smaller outsider government we need.
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